Monday, December 14, 2020

REVIEW: 'Tiny Pretty Things' - Naveah, Bette and June Battle One Another in Order to Impress Ramon in 'Range of Motion'

Netflix's Tiny Pretty Things - Episode 1.02 "Range of Motion"

Ramon's new ballet creates controversy - and opportunity. Bette goes to extremes to hide her injury, while Oren wrestles with his own secrets.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Tiny Pretty Things.

"Range of Motion" was written by Michael MacLennan and directed by Samir Rehem & Gary Fleder

In the premiere, it was unclear if the drama was more interested in exploring the world of ballet dancers or investigating what happened to Cassie. In this episode, it's clear that the drama is much more successful when depicting the trials and tribulations of these dancers competing with one another for their great achievements. Whenever someone mentions Cassie, it feels entirely empty and inconsequential. That's weird. It still lingers over the proceedings though. As such, it prevents the drama from truly taking off because it is burdened by this plot that the creatives may think is necessary in order to gain broad appeal. It's a murder mystery that should have a solid propulsive energy to it. And yet, it lives in limbo because Cassie isn't technically dead. It's full of suspicion that things aren't lining up at this school. People are lying and trying to cover up their crimes. But it's all very vague. That's especially true when it comes to Neveah being pulled into it. She wasn't at the school when this tragedy occurred. People are trying to protect her. They don't want her to suffer the same fate. The only suspicion that that might happen is because she was gifted a white rose with a note. Some understood it to be a threat. She is naive enough not to know what it means. She is intrigued by the life that Cassie had. She seems to be stepping into it completely. Cassie was the star of this school. And now, Neveah is the one having articles written about her brilliance. She still has to train though. People comment on how her foundation needs work. She relies on June for support. They help each other. And yet, it's fascinating to watch as these dancers inform their dynamics based on who can be a friend or enemy. It's very basic in those terms. It has to be one or the other. There is no room for nuance. That means June and Neveah help each other when it is beneficial to them. And then, they switch as soon as they believe the other is being duplicitous. Neveah is confident in her skills. The world is setting high standards for her though. That pressure may be too much for her. Meanwhile, June needs to prove herself right now. If she doesn't land the principle role, then her mother is no longer going to support her dancing dreams. She would rather cut the losses now figuring that her daughter won't reach the top of this field. June does improve though. She is given the opportunity to impress Ramon and land the principle role. It is stolen from her. Shane and Bette come in at the last moment in order to perform for the board. Bette made June doubt her new friendship with Naveah. She talks up how they have supported each other as friends since a young age. And yet, Bette is the one who prevents June and Nabil from getting to the stage on time. Bette needs to thrive in this program no matter what. She can't count on support from anywhere if she fails. She is cut right away. Ramon doesn't see the talent he needs for this piece. He doesn't see it from anyone at the moment. He views everyone as being too inconsistent. Bette and Shane just happen to grab the opportunity to be in the spotlight. That exposure may only further aggravate her injury. She can't hide it from everyone. People notice. She is willing to push herself. That's what these dancers instinctively do. But again, it's a very cutthroat environment. One where it's difficult for people to see their relationships while performing as different than what happens in their dorm rooms and hanging out together to blow off steam. Things have to be tense all the time because that's the only way they can feel the pressure to be better. That energy may grow exhausting over time. It may only ensure that more people face the tragic downfall if they don't prevail in this sport. That makes them human though. They are stating what their goals are. They are passionate about it. They protect each other when under attack from outsiders to their world. As a group, they are competing for the best roles and chances to shine. They have no friends. It's all enemies. One just happened to take that to the extreme in pushing Cassie off the roof. The show isn't exactly subtle with any of this. It's just more enjoyable and compelling when it's focused on the drive to succeed in ballet.